Measure twice-cut-once….one of the things my dad has told me my whole life. As you may have guessed my dad was in construction as a career…more specifically than that he was carpenter. From time to time my brother and I were able to go to work with him, which was a highlight during summer days, not only for us but also my mom and little sister. They had a chance to have some “girl-time”. Whenever on a job-site, my brother and I were told..go pick up that trash, make sure all the nails on scrap pieces of lumber were bent over so people wouldn’t accidentally step on them, bring this box of nails to that track of homes over there….so on and so forth. On occasion when those tasks were done we had an opportunity to build stuff….not job related stuff, but boy stuff…fun stuff. Im talking wooden guns…little chairs…go carts that we could bolt our skateboard wheels and trucks to…and if we were on that site long enough and we found enough scrap wood that was being thrown away, we were able to build make-shift forts or at least bring those materials home to do so. One time we had enough material that we brought home, we were able to build an actual skateboard 1/4 pipe. If you dont know what Im talking about dont worry it’s not why Im writing this, but I will tell you, you missed out…..
Now just to let you know my dad was super involved in the process of each of those building endeavors, from proper use of tools, to vision and completion of product….as a matter of fact he still is to this day. I would say one of the phrases that stuck the most was….measure twice-cut-once…. measure what you are going to cut, double check that by measuring again, make a mark/snap a line, and follow that when cutting. There is no such thing as a board stretcher, wood is not as “stretchy” as a rubber band, so if you measure wrong you are starting over again.
As I think about that today I find that that phrase continues to play out in my everyday life… The way that it does is in decision making, both in the big and small. Except the gauge/tool for measurement is not a fabricated assembly of metals and screws, wrapped around a tightly wound spring, only spanning the distance of 25′. The gauge/tool I use is prayer. Someone once told me you can never pray to much. In fact when people come and talk with me about “life STUFF” my first question back to them is…wait for it….its profound…. “have you prayed about it”. More often then not the answer back usually is…..nope.
The bible says a lot about this thing called prayer but I want to look at just a few passages….
– LUKE 11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Look to Him just as I was looking to my earthly Father….ask Him for direction, let Him in to measure the things of your life. He will show you what to pray for and be mindful of.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing, did you catch that…without ceasing…without stopping… Webtser’s defines it this way -when ceasing exists, it comes or is brought to an end. God calls us to do the exact opposite. hmmmmmm
– Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Let Him know, trust His guidance…lean in with prayer. Nothing is to big or small for Him.
The point I’m trying to make with this is if we measure our life circumstances by continual conversation with our Father, God through His Holy Spirit will guide us through this life, showing us the steps we need to take and cuts we need to make. He truly wants the best for us, but in order for that to happen we need to be part of the conversation. A part of the story.